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Old 01-12-2018, 12:07 PM   #1
Benny Mon
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Default Salvation

~BBW, SSBBW, ~~WG, Stuffing

Salvation

by Benny Mon


Molley pulled the hood of her coat more closer her head and tightened the clasp, but the winds of the blizzard cut into her just as viciously. She couldn’t see more than a foot in front of her and couldn’t feel her fingers anymore. As she trudged through the snow, her steps felt less and less sure.


She’d lost a sense of the passage of time when the cave appeared in front of her. She stumbled but caught herself as she walked into it, not expecting the reprieve from the wind and the cold and what little light broke still broke through the snowfall. But it was enough. She sank against the wall and threw her few possessions to the floor: her shotgun, all its ammunition spent, and her backpack. She pulled the last bit of dried rabbit meat from the sack and nibbled on it weakly as she rested.

It had only been three days since she’d left her village, but she wasn’t sure how much longer she would last. Since she’d fled, she’d already eaten what little food she could scrape together in her haste to leave. She was inexperienced with a gun and had wasted many shots before she killed the rabbit she was just now finishing up. Game was scarce in the mountains, and since the blizzard had hit a few hours earlier, she had lost any chance of finding anything else. Her days—maybe hours—were numbered.

Molley was scared, of course, but not desperate, not panicked. She had expected this. She had killed her husband. She had wrested her freedom from a cramped, toxic existence, but she knew immediately that there was no future for her in that village. The deed done, she had scraped together a bit of food, a shotgun for hunting, some boots, the wool coat wrapped around her now, and the pistol with which she had committed the murder. She could glimpse it peeking over the lip of her sack, a faint red glow reflecting off the inlaid silver of its wooden handle. It had two bullets left. It was the only power she had left in this world.

She blinked. Nothing warm or red could reach the cave from the storm outside, so she looked to her left, back toward the cave, and noticed a faint light at a great distance, barely enough light for her to notice. When she’d stumbled into the cave she must have been too exhausted to spot it. Maybe her eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness of the cave. But sure enough it was there. Someone was there.

Molley pushed herself to her feet, remaining in a low crouch as she slipped the pistol from the sack and replaced the latter on her back. She crept as quietly as she could toward the back of the cave, both threatened and thrilled by the possibility that someone was back there, someone who either made her death more certain or offered her a chance to survive. It seemed she would never arrive: she edged forward for what felt like minutes, the red glow brightening imperceptibly slowly. Her fingers were wrapped around the handle of the pistol, but it hung at her side at an awkward angle. She wasn’t used to this weapon.

As Molley walked, the light shone more and more brightly in her emerald green eyes. The walls came more sharply into view, but she didn’t pay attention: she was fixed on the source of the light. And so she missed the transformation of the walls, too: as she moved, their rough, jagged surfaces gave way to smooth planes, which then seemed to grow an etched grid of rectangles that looked resembled brick. The rocks and pebbles on the ground thinned and disappeared, leaving a packed and orderly brown dirt. The light grew and grew, and with it came noises, faint at first but swelling into the laughing and yelling of a crowd. Entranced, Molley didn’t slow, continuing to put forward one foot after the other. And then she stepped into a tight alley between two buildings.

She glued herself to one of the buildings and froze. It was dark in the alley, and as far as she could tell there was no one else there. Keeping the pistol at her side, she peeked around the corner with as much caution as she could muster and saw the fattest person she had ever seen.

Not that this person was very fat: there simply were very few fat people in Molley’s old life. The people of her village labored in the foothills of the mountains, raising sheep, hunting occasionally, and mining oil from the surface to trade with itinerant merchants for a few other necessities. The years were long and cold and their access to food was limited. Only those lucky enough to make it to old age managed to put on a little weight, just by virtue of their slowed metabolisms. But this woman was genuinely fat: a small but real double chin lined her large jaw, the calves below her skirt were stocky, and a small potbelly pushed taut the waist of her skirt. She was in the middle of the street that the alley opened onto, laughing and flirting and dancing (poorly) with a man, a hunk of warm, steaming bread in one hand and a flagon of some drink in the other. Her cheeks were flushed, and most of her sentences didn’t make it to the end, collapsing in fits of giggles.

Molley was transfixed, frozen to the spot. She had just stumbled from lonely and certain death into a city that by all accounts should not be there, been bathed in warmth and frivolity and confronted with a woman the likes of which she had never seen before. She must have been weaker than she thought, hallucinating as she teetered at the edge of death. Her head was spinning; she wasn’t sure what to do. But her body took charge. She clicked the safety on the pistol, placed it in the inside pocket of her coat, and stiffly stepped out into the alley.

The portly woman in front of her didn’t think twice as she exclaimed and grinned at Molley, as though she were an old friend. Then she gasped a bit and tilted drunkenly to one side: “You’re so thin! Come here, deary!” And she stumbled up to a still-frozen Molley and held the flagon to the frigid woman’s lips, pouring it through. Molley choked a little as the drink touched her dry throat, but soon she let it flow. She had never had something like this before: it was fermented like the ciders they brewed back in the village, but somehow richer and more bitter at the same time--and warm. She let the warmth pour down her throat and the alcohol go to her head, and for the first time in days, she relaxed.

The portly woman guided her into a building nearby--a pub, though Molley had never seen such a thing. Dimly lit by oil lamps hanging at intervals around the wall, it was full of people, a boisterous crowd of dozens who were also eating and drinking lustily. Molley’s self-appointed guide cleared a way through the fray and seated her at a large chair near a low fire. It wasn’t cold in this newfound town, but Molley was still chilled to the bone, and she was glad to be near these flames. Her head spun a little, but Molley’s guide brought her some water--she must have known that alcohol was not enough at the moment--and as Molley sipped it and felt more stable, she took stock of the room.

It was unlike anything she’d ever seen. Back home, the village had sustained itself precariously in the harsh foothills of the mountains, men hunting and raising livestock while women maintained their households and wove blankets and clothing. Most of the year was cold and all of the work was hard: there was little time for celebration. But this room was full of jolly, absurdly happy people, eating and drinking and swinging and dancing. Some of them wore clothes like the woman Molley had met in the street, but most were decked in ornate robes and suits and masks, hiding their true identity.

Even more remarkable, no one was skinny. To be sure, the majority were simply chubby, a little round in the cheek and the belly, and many were as portly as Molley’s guide. But a sizeable minority were varying degrees of enormous. One woman, dressed simply in pants and a loose vest, had the largest legs Molley had ever seen, tree trunks that stamped around as their owner tried to dance, bulbous buttocks shaking atop them as she moved. Another had a massive belly with a billowing flowy dress draped over it; she would have looked large on her own, but the dress seemed to double her in size. A third had arms and hands so fat they looked like giant stuffed sausages, straining at the seams. Her overplump fingers were clenched around the handles of two large flagons, one of which she was presently emptying into her surprisingly small mouth. And then it hit Molley: all of the fattest people were women. Yes, there were no skinny men, and some were chubby or even portly, but many were also muscular, even fit. Rotundity seemed to skew feminine in this place.

Molley suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder, and she looked up to see her guide. “Isn’t it amazing?” the woman said. “I think it gets better every year.”

Molley finally found the words to speak: “What is it?”

The woman looked taken aback for a second, and then she burst out laughing. “That beer must have gone straight to your head. You’re drunker than you look! ‘What is it,’ like you don’t know what the Harvest Festival is….Oo! I love this song!” And as the small band in the corner started up a new song, Molley’s guide bounced into the crowd, her belly bouncing with her.

Molley was awash in excitement and fear and anxiety and anticipation all at once, but her shock had begun to fade, and her hunger was creeping back to take its place. All at once her body remembered that she hadn’t eaten much for days, and she began to stuff herself, shoving hunks of bread into her mouth, tearing the meat off a drumstick, sampling the many cheeses. It didn’t take long for her enfeebled stomach to fill, but she continued to eat through pangs and rising nausea.

She was delirious now, and confused, but somehow still hungry, and she wandered out into the street in search of more food. If anyone had been paying attention, really, she would have been an alarming sight: a small, skinny woman in an oversize wool coat (still hooded), nibbling on a piece of bread as she worked her way uncertainly down the road. But everyone else was absorbed in their own revelry. She saw a costumed young couple in an alley, the man amorously feeding his masked blond lover candied cherries as he rubbed her belly. A trio of young women just this side of adulthood--an apple, a pear, and an hourglass--sat in a circle on a small hill in the next block, chatting and giggling as friends do, picking pieces off a gigantic cake in the middle of them, occasionally the other two feeding the apple an extra-large piece, sending her eyelids into flutters of pleasure. (Molley asked for a hunk of cake as she passed, which the young women, giddy and distracted, were more than happy to supply.) In a nearby tavern, a stocky woman with a belly like a barrel was downing a flagon of beer without taking a breath, her generous double chin shuddering with each gulp, each complete flagon falling away as a small crowd handed her another and cheered her on. Molley stole another sip of beer from an unattended flagon and again felt the alcohol rush to her head. She chuckled and stumbled back a step.

And then she came upon a truly spectacular site. The road she followed came to an abrupt end at an amphitheater set into the ground. It seated dozens of guests in various stages of obesity, but the stage at the center held the true stars. Three spectacularly fat women sat at a very long table buckling under the weight of platters and platters of food. On the left sat a woman with arms wider than Molley thought possible, huge sacks of fat compressing two massive breasts, all of which pushed up against a double chin so big it had basically erased its neck. The middle woman seemed taller than the rest until Molley realized her ass was so big it boosted her sitting height. This woman’s upper body was certainly fat, but each of her legs was the size of a large, full-grown man. And the woman on the right was simply fat all over, ballooned in every limb and surface until she barely looked like a person anymore. Despite their size, each of these women had the strength and enthusiasm to continually shovel food into her face. They never stopped, and when even a small amount of space was cleared on the table, one of several young, merely chubby women would rush up and replace it with fresh food. In fact, not only were they impeccably served, these women were also lavishly dressed, decked in necklaces and dresses somehow tailored to their enormous, irregular bodies. Half of the audience seemed wrapped up in their own mini-feasts, while others look on the stage eagerly, cheering on one or another of the massive women. Many, like people she’d seen throughout town, were hidden behind elaborate, colorful masks. Molley was utterly engrossed.

But her concentration was broken when she noticed, in the corner of her eye, two people slinking away from the event. Well, one was slinking, a man; the other, a woman, was far too large for any kind of subtle movement. They’d slipped into a nearby alley, so Molley crept closer to see what was going on. Both were wearing festival masks, and the woman’s hair was pulled into a bun so compact Molley couldn’t really make out much about it. But the woman’s body was visible enough beneath the revealing, loose, translucent fabric than hung over her body. She was short, a hand or so shorter than Molley, but remarkably shapely: her calves were beautifully curved for being so fat, her thighs like oval balloons. Her arms were similarly pillowy and her arms chubby, but below her fairly modest breasts sat her most impressive asset, her belly, a thick, round pillow of an apron that spread from its somewhat narrower start at her waist to cover her at the widest parts of her mid-thighs. And though her mask covered her nose and eyes, a brilliant white smile sat above a delicate chin and a generous double chin.

The man took the woman’s fat cheek in his hand and leaned down to kiss her, and her fat body trembled ever so slightly as she thrilled. Her face radiated peace, but tinged with something else--relief, perhaps, or even gratitude. The man brought his other hand to the woman’s face and pulled her into an even tighter kiss. Molley flushed, this time in embarrassment, but couldn’t tear herself away. The masked woman continued to tremble - too much, in fact, and suddenly Molley noticed that the man’s hands were not cradling the woman’s head but wrapped around her neck, choking her. The woman’s arms shot out and flailed against the wall behind her; she stamped her legs in a vain effort to escape, but the man, taller and surprisingly fit for this town, controlled her fully. The woman’s face turned blue, and she began to falter.


CRACK.


Molley hadn’t hesitated, hadn’t even thought. Her heart now beat even faster as she stood frozen, her hood blown back and her arm extended, the pistol still hot and smoking, and Molley’s green eyes wide, locked on the eyes of the fat woman who stared back at her as the man thudded sideways to the ground, a bullet through his head.

At the time, Molley couldn’t explain the sequence of events that followed. The woman before her finally stepped away from the wall, touching her fat neck where the man’s fingers had left red imprints, and tears of gratitude, even awe, pooled in her eyes. And then she threw herself before Molley as gracefully as her huge body would allow, the act of supplication clear despite her clumsiness. It was now Molley’s turn to tremble, uncontrollably, undone by her act, by everything that had happened in the last twenty minutes. The pistol fell from her hands, but she quickly scooped it back up into her pocket.

By now a crowd had begun to gather around the mouth of the alley. People were murmuring and shouting, and others joined them--even one of the impossibly fat women from the amphiteater had somehow managed to haul herself up the shallow stairs to find out what was going on, standing there with her chest heaving and anxiety on her face.

“My people,” cried the woman Molley had saved, “we have been visited by a miracle!” And the crowd fell silent. The woman sat up on her knees. “My wretched husband, whom you have all known as a kind and benevolent Governor of our realm, tried to kill me.” She held up her chin so all could see the bruises that spotted her neck. “He had been foul with me for months now, but I had not suspected that such treachery lay behind it. But then”--her voice, and her chins, trembled with emotion--“then I saw that our Goddess watched over me always, and that when my wretched husband laid his hands upon me he was laid low by divine Thunder. We are not worthy of the love and protection our Goddess offers us. We would none of us recognize her servant in this diminished, emaciated form. And yet we give everything we have in gratitude for our Mother’s boundless care.”

At this the ever-growing crowd erupted in cheers and sobs--the impossibly fat woman’s voice wailed out in sorrow and joy--and they rushed in to lift the assaulted woman to her feet, and to press their fleshy bodies into Molley is adoration. They surrounded her in a warm, soft flood, and she could barely breathe, but she felt no fear. She became giddy. A carriage pulled up, pulled by two large animals that looked something between oxen and goats, and the assailed woman and her savior Molley were lifted into it. The enormously fat woman reached up into the carriage while the door was still open, taking the assailed woman by the hand and kissing it gently. She closed the door, and they left.

“Rest now, servant of our great Mother,” she said to Molley, smiling as the carriage rumbled along. “We will attend to you properly at the Manor.” Her eyes looked up to the skies, still smiling. “What fortune is visited on us this day.”



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Old 01-12-2018, 12:09 PM   #2
Benny Mon
 
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As the carriage rolled through the town, Molley’s companion sat in meditative silence, eyes closed, hands folded over her bouncing belly. Molley shifted a little in her seat and stared out the window, and she noticed that the townsfolk they now passed weren’t as big as those they had left behind. They, too, were feasting grandly, and their bellies were round and taut with fullness, but almost none of them was fat, even chubby. It didn’t even feel like the same town.

But soon they left this neighborhood behind and passed through a small field, and then up a hill toward the largest structure Molley had ever seen. Molley’s companion opened her eyes, as though on cue, and smiled: “Welcome to the Manor.” The carriage passed through a larger, wooden outer gate and wound its way across a gravel clearing toward the main house of this estate, a sprawling, angular, multi-storey wooden building. The carriage dropped them at the front entrance--huge doors of many thin, vertical pieces of wood, simple yet magnificent--and the carriage driver helped Molley’s companion down from the vehicle. The doors swung open, and Molley was led inside.

The quiet of the outdoors was exploded by the festivities within, where dozens of people, fat and thin, dined and danced in a great open hall. Molley had never seen a building remotely like this, but this room was a sort of foyer, and Molley could tell that if there were festivities here, they filled every room and corridor of the house. Molley’s host led her through it all--golden fountains spouting a dark red liquid that the partiers dipped goblets into from time to time; long tables lined with deep-bellied diners; thin, servile individuals threading through the crowds with trays, serving small treats that the larger guests grabbed three or four at a time; dozens of dancers, small nimble ones spinning to music around slower, more ponderous bodies who still swayed with joy. She lost track of their surroundings as they passed from room to room, up stairs and around corners, until the noise and bustle slowly left them behind. They moved through a long, quiet hallway--no people, no food--and passed through a narrow door (Molley’s guide barely fit through).

The room they entered was small and spare, with a short chest to their left and an alcove in the far wall. Molley’s host waddled to the chest while Molley drew closer to the alcove, marveling at what she saw: herself. Well, she thought she saw herself. A painted statue stared back at her, with curling copper hair and bright green eyes. Even the features resembled Molley’s, a small but defined nose, thin lips just barely open, sharp facial structure, through its body was much, much fatter than hers. Even stone looked soft and ponderous on this statue.

Molley looked back at her host, who simply smiled her benevolent smile again. “It’s how I knew. You do not need to be so modest.”

Molley finally found her voice: “I’m not...I just don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know who you are, or where I am, or who you think I am. Or why you’ve been so kind to me.”

Her host went to speak but stopped herself, hesitating in thought, and then: “I suppose the Goddess sometimes sends messengers without their knowing. It wouldn’t be the first time. But wherever you come from, whatever you may not know, your features are hers. No one else in our land has been gifted with the hair and the eyes of our Mother. I have no doubt that she sent you to us.

“But please forgive me. You must be terribly confused. My name is Mared Bethan. I am the Governess of the Hidden Vale, and you saved my life.”

Molley’s face twisted and her lips trembled, and she fell to her knees in front of the statue.

“My dear, don’t worry. You don’t have to say anything. Let us give thanks, and I’ll take you somewhere where you can rest.” Finally, Mared pulled a small, shallow saucer filled with milk out of the cabinet, waddled up to the statue, and poured it down the Goddess’ slightly open lips while she muttered a prayer to herself. She replaced the saucer, shut the cabinet, helped Molley to her feet--surprisingly strong for her size and stature--and led her back through the corridors to a dining room--small, simple, but elegant. “Are you hungry, my dear?”

“Yes,” and with that the ravenous hunger reawakened in Molley. She and Mared sat at the table as two tall, thin men entered the room, took their orders, and left to fetch some food. They left the Governess with a tall, cream-colored pitcher and two round cups. She decanted a cream-colored drink into each and leaned back in her chair as she sipped it. Molley tried to down it but choked--it was richer and sweeter than anything she’d ever had. She paced herself and sipped it as Mared steadily emptied her cup and poured another and spoke

“This is my Private Dining. It isn’t much, but I use it when I need to eat away from everything else, which has been more and more these days. But please, tell me: where do you come from? What brought you to our valley?”

Molley sat there, took a deep breath, stared at the floor. “My husband was a hard man. When his parents chose me as his wife, I wanted to stay in my family’s home and never leave. I wanted to kill myself. But they marched me out, made me celebrate with the village, made me sit through the wedding. I smiled when I had to. Mostly I tried not to look at anyone. Especially him. But it happened, and I was his wife.”

She didn’t know where the words were coming from, but they came. She looked into Mared’s bright blue eyes. She saw the woman, really saw her, for the first time: medium-length blond hair flowing in large, loose curls over one of her shoulders. A small nose and round lips, her delicate chin ensconced in a wide, flowing double chin. Every part of her was plump, or fat, or simply enormous, the plumpest fingers and round hands each wrapped around one side of a cup, just inches from a massive belly that pressed up against the table. Mared was stately but entirely unintimidating, a calming presence who simply took in everything Molley had to say. She nodded. “Please go on.”

“I couldn’t live with this man. I refused to keep his house, I turned away guests. I wouldn’t patch his clothes, make his blankets, decorate his home. He beat me, but it didn’t matter. I would not get used to a life with this man. He beat me, but every strike made me more sure. Stronger.” A [/COLOR]bang[COLOR=#000000] flashed through her memory, the image of her one-time husband motionless on the floor, blood spilling from his stomach. “And, then, I had a chance to leave. And I took it. And I knew I couldn’t go back. And then I found you.”

Mared had stopped drinking. “I’m glad you did,” she said. “I think we needed each other.”

The two thin men re-entered the room and set platters of food on the table.

“Eat now,” said Mared. “You’re safe.”

And Molley did. Not an hour before she had filled her atrophied stomach to the brim, but now she ate again like she hadn’t eaten for months, devouring butter-slathered slices of bread, roast goat, hunks of goat cheese, honey-soaked pears, and the occasional sip of her creamy drink. Tears crept from her eyes, tears of fear, of sadness, of exhaustion, of relief, of a depthless hunger that had awoken within her.

Mared left the food to Molley but poured and drank, steadily, three cups in a row of the creamy drink, and spoke again. “You saw my wretched husband. I can’t explain any better than you what happened. We were happy once. We’d been married for years, and we were happy for as long as I can remember. But months ago, in the middle of summer, he turned sour. He snapped at me over nothing. He became jealous, reprimanding me for any time spent without him. I don’t know what happened. Maybe we wanted to rule alone--he married into my family, after all. Maybe he simply couldn’t stand my happiness--I’m well loved by the people of the Vale and unashamed to say it. Maybe he simply went mad. I don’t know. I thought we were turning a corner, that the Harvest had lifted his spirits. It must have been a ruse. You saw what he tried to do.” She touched her neck reflexively, twice, quickly and gingerly. And then she stood up and walked to Molley, putting a pillowy hand on her shoulder. “I may die never understanding why he did what he did, but it matters little. You saved my life. I am forever in the debt of my Goddness, and so forever in your debt as well. You are in my care always.”

Molley’s tears slowed as she looked up at Mared in awe. The Governess embraced her guest and then picked up Molley’s cup. “Just relax,” she said, almost whispered, and Molley closed her eyes and leaned into her chair, head back, as Mared poured the rest of the creamy drink down Molley’s throat. It slid down like water.

Last edited by Benny Mon; 01-13-2018 at 03:31 PM. Reason: paragraph spacing
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:11 PM   #3
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The morning sun shot its first rays through the window. Molley stirred and woke, casting off her bedsheets and letting the sun alone warm her naked body. She sat on the edge of the bed, bracing herself with her arms and stretching her chest forward, and slipped to the floor. It was a room as simple and elegant as Mared’s Private Dining had been, all long, thin, perfect wooden slats and right angles. The bed itself was a bit more ornate and dressed in fine sheets and blankets, dark green and cream.

Molley padded across the room to a full-length mirror on the opposite wall and took herself in. She barely recognized herself; she was rounder everywhere. Round calves, round thighs and arms, a tiny belly, the hint of a double chin peeking out from behind her jaw. She had been here for just a few weeks, but she hadn’t stopped eating the whole time. She had gone nowhere, seen no one but Mared and a handful of servants. She had barely talked with her host and her caretakers. She had just eaten.

With a quick knock at the door--”Come in”--a servant entered, a short, stocky young woman with a hood low over her face to avert her gaze from Molley’s nakedness. The servant woman, eyes trained on Molley’s feet, approached and deftly cast a light robe over her and then pulled back the hood as Molley tightened the cinch. She looked up at Molley, unsmiling, humorless: “What can I get you, Mistress?” All the servants in the castle were like this, severe and distant, but diligent and loyal all the same.

"A bowl of honeycream to start,” she said.

The servant nodded. “Very good. The Governess has asked you to join her for breakfast at the table.”

“I will,” Molley nodded. “After the honeycream.”

She sat at the table and the servant brought her a generous bowl of honeycream, the sweet, rich drink Mared had given her her first night at the Manor. The servant stood in silence as Molley picked up the bowl with both hands and downed the entire contents, every last drop pouring into her mouth. The servant then helped her dress in a semi-formal robe, and led Molley to the formal dining hall, where Mared sat near the head of a table. Molley sat opposite her, and another servant set a platter of fried eggs, hard cheese, and toast in front of her.

Mared stuffed her cheeks with fat bites of pancake, steadily as always, barely chewed, and swallowed. “You’ve gotten an invitation,” she said. “To lunch.”

A pang of anxiety shot through Molley, but she just stared back quizzically and stuck a forkful of eggs and cheese in her mouth.

“From Nia Quant,” said Mared, “the Principal Surveyor of the Vineyards, and my cousin. She’s older than I am, but we were close growing up, until she married Gethin and moved to the country. It’s strange, a woman moving in with her husband’s family. It doesn’t happen very often. But I think the slower pace of country life always called to Nia.” She downed another bite of pancake. “In any case, now that you’ve had time to rest, she wants to thank you for saving my life. She’s invited you to visit her estate in the country. After breakfast we’ll call a carriage. You should make it there by lunchtime.”

“Are you coming?”

“I can’t afford a trip to the country right now,” said Mared, dexterously thumbing a smear of syrup off the corner of her lips and popping it in her mouth. “But I’ll send you with my best driver. Don’t worry: Nia will take good care of you.” She reached forward, her belly bunching against the table, and patted Molley’s hand. Her own was still a little sticky.

They finished their breakfast in silence as they usually did, too absorbed in their food to speak much, and Molley returned to her room to change. The same servant--Molley never could remember her name--helped her change into pants and a flowing top, more restrictive clothing than Molley had had to wear since she arrived. They fit her fine, but after so many robes they felt tight over her belly and thighs.

“I don’t see why I just can’t stay and have lunch with Mared,” she spoke, mostly to herself. She held out her arms while the servant, silent, guided them into the sleeves of a coat. Summer was just turning to fall, and today was an unusually chilly day. “Will you get me some berries before I go?”

“Of course, Mistress, and I’ll make sure you have some candied nuts for the journey.”

Molley nodded absently and stared out the window as the servant left. She placed a hand over her stomach, which ached with hunger.

As the carriage pulled out of the main gate, Molley spotted a strange site: groups of thin townsfolk, twos and threes and fours, dropping jugs and small packages and large sacks at the gate, with a contingent of guards carrying them inside. Molley understood only because Mared had explained the rhythms of the life in the Vale to her. Every fall, for a week, they held the Harvest Festival, spreading the bounty of the land around the whole town. Everyone, rich and poor, feasted boundlessly on food and drink, and there was music and dancing and even feats of gluttony like Molley had spotted in the amphitheater. But it didn’t last; Molley now understood what an unusual time she’d arrived at. After the festival, most of the townsfolk went back to eating on what they could grow or buy themselves. Certainly there were some families of means, from skilled craftsmen and restaurateurs to the handful of landowners who constituted the Vale’s elite, and to varying degrees their bodies showed it. Molley had apparently entered the town through a fairly well-off neighborhood, which explained why everyone had been so fat. But most of the townsfolk, and the villagers who lived and labored throughout the Vale, were not so fortunate, and their bellies quickly lost their roundness, and they dreamed of the release of the next year’s harvest.

To add insult to injury, one of the quarterly tax collections fell just a couple weeks after the festival, and that’s what Molley was observing right now. Valedwellers paid their taxes in kind, and so on top of the huge flows of food and drink the Manor commanded at all times, it also tapped a tenth of the food-wealth of every household and of every enterprise throughout the year. The packages and sacks and jugs: this was precious nourishment that every family had to part with so that the Vale’s elite would know no want.

Molley was reaching into a small sack of her own, directing a constant stream of berries and candied nuts into her mouth. This was the first time she had left the Manor, and the town terrified her. This was partly a function of Molley’s upbringing--she hadn’t adjusted to the bustle of a town since she had lived her whole life in the desolate foothills of snowy mountains, never laying eyes anything more complex than the cluster of wooden, dome-like, single-family structures she called her village...or, at least, had once called her village. And that was the other reason why she clutched the edge of her seat as she traveled, why she let out a little gasp every time the carriage hit a bump. In the Manor, she’d been able to drug herself with indulgence, to numb her mind with fullness and food comas she never could have dreamed of in her past life. But nuts and berries weren’t enough to distract her from the recollections that now swarmed her: the parents who must have been distraught with worry, the friends she would never see again, and the shot she put through her husband’s guts. She’d told Mared everything, but she hadn’t told her about that. She couldn’t. It wasn’t that she regretted the act--she would have paid any price for her freedom--but she could barely admit to herself that she did it. The contradiction worried a fault line that ran the length of her soul.

She reached to her waist and felt the shape of her pistol, which she’d tucked in between her underclothes and her robe and secured with the cinch. Every night she slept with it under her pillow, and she vowed not to go anywhere beyond the Manor without it. She didn’t even know why she had it: the highest law in the Vale stood behind her, thought her divinely blessed, vowed to protect and defend her until the end of her days. With all that, the pistol meant little. It only had one bullet left. But she couldn’t leave it behind.

She licked sugar crystals off the tips of her fingers as she forced herself to look out the window of the carriage--she wasn’t used to feeling so undone, and she didn’t want to dwell on it. The carriage passed through some poorer neighborhoods, where skinny mothers pulled their children through the streets or beat rugs that hung on strings, where hardened men set out to work in smithies and pubs and warehouses. It passed through rich neighborhoods, where plump ladies giggled and gossiped in the streets and husky men scribbled with pens in poorly lit offices. And then, as they crested a hill, the town suddenly fell away, and they were driving through the countryside, descending the Vale terraced slope by terraced slope.

This portion of the valley held vineyards, but the grapes had already been harvested, so the fields were empty of laborers. Molley exhaled as they left the closeness of the town behind, and within the hour they pulled up to the Quant House. It was built in the same style as the Manor, and even though it was smaller it somehow felt more impressive: as far as the eye could see there was nothing so large. As the driver stepped down and opened the carriage door for Molley, the House door opened, too, and out stepped a remarkable sight: one of the impossibly fat women from the amphitheater. “I’m so, so glad you joined me,” she grinned, setting her chins jiggling. This was Nia Quant.

Nia really was impossibly large. Molley still had a hard time wrapping her mind around Mared’s fatness--she was probably four or five times the size Molley had been when she arrived in the Vale--but Nia was noticeably huger. Could she be twice as large as Mared? At this size it was impossible to tell. Nia’s obesity outpaced intuition entirely, and the thought crossed Molley’s mind that there might be no instrument that could measure her girth. She was the third woman Molley had spotted that day, the one who was so fat all over she had all but lost her shape. It was just as true today: she stood before Molley a mountain of fat, somehow wearing clothes well tailored to her. Brown pants encased titanic thighs, and a loose, fine teal shirt that failed to cover the lower quarter of her upper belly (by design?) draped over a huge body, not so much round as sprawling, flowing like a giant mass of honey. Enormous, flabby breasts rested on this belly and strained the shirt, and her arms and shoulders, amply padded back and many necks seemed to threaten to the burst the shirt altogether. Even her feet looked like ballooning doughs stuffed into simple, flat shoes.

And here she was, standing and moving of her own power. Molley couldn’t believe it. Nia waved Molley in with a hand so fat it looked useless and walked back into the house, her uncontainable body a turmoil of shaking and shifting with every step. Several servants trailed behind her, Molley broke out of her trance and jogged in.

Molley got a short tour of the house--its sumptuous fireplaces, spectacular views of the Vale, its lifts, operated by horse-powered networks of gears and pulleys, that allowed Nia to move between the different floors of the house (stairs were out of the question). She explained that they had had to add the lifts when she moved here from the city, as none of her husband’s female family members and ancestors had been so fat as Nia was (her dear mother-in-law, she noted soberly, had passed away not a year before). They met her husband, too, Gethin Quant, an otherwise tall, thin man with a small potbelly. He greeted them politely, kissed Molley’s hand, and quickly left to attend to other business.

“Gethin insists on keeping busy throughout the year,” said Nia, “but my responsibilities are much lighter on the off season, and that’s just as I like it.”

She finally led them--every step weighty, thunderous--into her Private Dining, a room entirely unlike Mared’s. There were no chairs and only small, low tables, but the floor was scattered with sumptuous rugs and pillows. Nia settled heavily into a pile of pillows and then patted the floor next to her. “Please, have a seat. Let’s eat!”

Molley was thrown--this was how they had eaten in her village, on a rug, close to the earth. She found it surprisingly comforting. A servant took her coat off her shoulders, and she sat on a wide pillow to Nia’s left. Her host was truly beautiful, a fact Molley had missed when she had taken in the woman’s tremendous size. But nestled in her several stacking, flowing necks, her amply padded cheeks and jowls, were thin but shapely lips, a long-bridged, round-tipped, handsome nose, and thin, almond-shaped hazel eyes, topped with shining hazel hair pulled into a bun. Her smile shone with intelligence and admiration.

The servants entered with platters of food and placed them on the nearby tables: three roast fowl, two bowls of buttery potatoes, a platter of roasted vegetables, three pitchers of the dark red substance Molley had spotted in the Manor the day she arrived, and a personal bowl and utensils for each. The servants poured them each a cup of the red drink and left the pitchers in reach before they left, and Nia asked, “Do you have wine where you come from?”

Molley shook her head as she accepted the cup and sipped, screwing up her face at the sourness of the drink. Nia threw her head back and laughed heartily, the fat in her neck bunching in rolls.

“I thought not. But you’ll come to like it. This is my livelihood and my responsibility. I oversee every step of the process, from the planting of new vines to the fermentation of the grapes. You may not think I do much, at my size, but when I chose Gethin as my husband and Mared appointed me Principal Surveyor, I vowed then and there to never lapse in my duties. This is my role; this is my part in keeping the Vale prosperous and great.” She drank down her cup in three gulps, eyes widening slightly with each gulp, and poured herself another. “But you come from a very different place, do you not? Mared told me that you’ve traveled hundreds of miles, spent weeks in the mountains to reach our Vale.”

Molley laughed and blushed, disarmed by the ridiculousness of the claim. “Not at all. I only left my village a few days before.”

Nia winked. “You’ll find I exaggerate just a tad from time to time.”

“But,” Molley continued, “I...I still don’t understand where my village is, relative to the Vale. There weren’t any valleys in my mountains, just peaks that hugged each other closer and higher all the time.”

Nia shrugged her very fat shoulders as she leaned over and grabbed an entire roast bird, plopping it on her plate and tearing off a drumstick. “I certainly don’t know. Our land is well-hidden, remote from all the others, and our Mother Goddess ensures that only the deserving may find us. You’re not the first traveler to stumble upon us. But I’m not a geographer.” She shrugged again and tore into the drumstick, practically licking it clean. “Shtill,” she said as she finished chewing, “it must have taken something truly horrible to send you into the mountains, away from your home.” She paused, gazing at Molley sincerely. “I understand you had a difficult marriage.”

“That’s one way you could say it…”

“What happened, exactly?”

“He was...mean. It was as simple as that. He couldn’t stand any happiness in me. He needed to have me under this thumb all the time. And he beat me if I ever defied him.”

I’m so sorry, really I am,” she said, voice sincere but eyes on the bird as she tore off a hunk of its breast with her bare fingers. “Of course, that doesn’t happen here much. We don’t understand it well. Mared’s wretched husband was such an anomaly, I don’t know what she would have done if the Goddess had not sent you...But thanks to the guidance and protection of our Mother, women lead good lives here. Do you know, I choose my husband of my own free will? And “Quant” is not my husband’s name, but mine. We pass the name down from mother to daughter here, same with property. It’s all I’ve ever known, of course, but our scholars tell us it’s very unusual among the societies of the world. We are blessed by our Goddess, and now,” she looked Molley in the eye with that intelligent smile, “you are, too.”

And Molley felt that she was.

Before long they had finished the platters of food. Nia consumed two birds on her own and heaps of potatoes and butter, while Molley barely made it through her own, smaller bird and a bit of each of the sides and hardly touched her wine. She lay back and massaged her swollen belly while Nia daintily cleaned her fingertips with a napkins and the servants cleared the platters--and then brought in more. Bacon-wrapped figs. A salad drenched in a creamy dressing. A thick, spiced carrot soup.

Nia looked at her with mock guilt. “You’ve come a long way. You’ve done so much for us. I wanted to show you a proper lunch, like we used to do in the old days. Not these skimpy midday snacks we’ve fallen into. Just enjoy yourself.”

Molley was full to the brim, but since she’d come to the Vale her hunger had never once abated, so she tucked in to a bowl of soup, munching on the occasional fig into her mouth as she went.

“Molley,” said Nia through a mouthful of salad, “you must forgive me for being so intrusive, but as I said, we know so little of the hard ways of your land. I have to ask: how long did you stay in this marriage?”

“I don’t know...almost a year?”

“So day in, day out, you put up with the humiliations this man forced on you.”

“Yes….” Molley flushed with shame.

“So why didn’t you leave sooner?”

Molley put her bowl down and rubbed her legs, staring at the floor. “I didn’t know I wanted to leave. Or, I didn’t know I could. I’m not sure. But one day I had a chance, and I took it.”

“So what was that chance?”

Molley just stared at the floor. Nia popped another fig in her mouth and chewed patiently. Molley said nothing.

Nia heaved her body to lean over and place a hand on Molley’s shoulder, and the two women looked each other in the eye. “It’s ok,” said Nia. “I understand. You did what you had to do. I would have done the same.” She fell back into place, her body shaking. “You deserved a better life, and our Mother brought you to it. You’re meant to be here, and nothing can take that away now.”

Molley kept looking at Nia. Somehow, she feared, the enormous woman knew what she’d done. Wasn’t it obvious, anyway? She’d killed a man in the Vale; it wouldn’t be hard to guess that she’d done it before. But into that fear, like milk in a hot drink, curled relief, and she felt her soul sinking into the comfort and indulgence of this new land. Her new home. For once, she didn’t cry. She just smiled weakly, sincerely, nodded, and picked up her bowl again to drink down the rest of her soup. They finished off the second course.

Nia reached into her pocket and took out a tiny bell, which she rang, and the servants came in with the next course: a big bowl of fruity pudding for each of them. Dessert, thought Molley, as she managed to get it all down. But the next course came as well, trays of little biscuits with a hot, bitter drink. Second dessert? They finished these, too, and Molley’s eyes drooped. “Don’t worry,” Nia said, spotting her drowsiness right away. “Lean back. Take a nap. I’ll wake you up in a bit.”

Molley dozed, maybe for a little while, maybe an hour, but the smell of freshly cooked meat woke her up again. She opened her eyes to Nia scarfing down a steaming roll, torn open and buttered thickly, and platters of roast goat, more potatoes, more vegetables….Molley forced herself back into a sitting position and stared out the window. The sun was low in the sky.

“I don’t want to impose on you,” she said. “I should probably get back to town.”

"Nonsense!” cried Nia, a few crumbs flying off her roll as she threw her hands in the air. “We’re still having lunch! You can’t abandon me now. Mared knows you’re here. Let me just take care of you. I told you I wanted to show you a proper lunch.”

Molley nodded and helped herself to a slice of goat, and another hot, bitter drink that Nia said was called “tea” and would help keep her awake. And so they carried on like this, courses big and small arriving one after the other, interspersed by the occasional nap. The sun set, the servants made a fire in the fireplace, and still they ate. They both napped through midnight and woke up again the wee hours of the morning, and still the food came, meal courses, appetizer courses, even tinier courses of tea and snacks just to tide them over to the next course. This was, apparently, the lunch of the old days, a meal Molley began to think would never end. The rhythms of their days unraveled: there was no daytime for waking, no nighttime for sleeping, no division of the hours into meals and not-meals, just a continuous flow of food, drink, and rest. The days passed. They never went anywhere, except occasionally to wash or use the toilet (Nia with the help of a small army of servants who lifted her off the ground). Molley began to acquire the taste for wine, especially once she realized it intoxicated like beer, but even moreso. She took more naps on the wine, but it greased her appetite, too, and she was able to put away more of the fatty, rich dishes that were presented to her. She spoke little, but things weren’t as quiet as they had been with Mared. Nia tended to fill the silences by talking about herself--her old friendship with Mared, her work as a Surveyor, her husband (of whom she seemed very fond, and who stopped in to say hello every now and then), her sister who still lived in town (“They don’t have time for lunches like this in town, with all the hustle and bustle, and you know even Mared looks so thin because she’s always on her feet, always going somewhere…”). It became like a trance, and Molley was lulled by the luxurious feast, the alternating sounds of Nia’s voice and the silences in between, when neither of them could think about anything but the food they filled themselves with.

Last edited by Benny Mon; 01-13-2018 at 03:33 PM. Reason: paragraph spacing
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:12 PM   #4
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One day, a week after she had reached Nia’s estate, she woke up from what felt like an especially long nap. It was just after dawn, and Nia was asleep, too, her tremendous chest rising and falling. It was amazing, Molley thought, that Nia’s lungs had the power to move her chest like that.

She sat up, groggy, and looked around. The fire was low, barely there. It was quiet; all she could hear was Nia’s soft breath. And the trays around them--still empty. The servants had never come to take them away, let alone bring more food. Molley’s belly, now more than just a little chubby, was still stuffed to the brim, but it growled. The hunger still gripped her. A week of ceaseless feasting still wasn’t enough. She rolled onto her knees and crawled over to Nia and touched her on the shoulder.

“Nia,” she whispered.

No response.

“Nia,” she said a little louder, shaking the flesh of her upper arm.

Nothing.

She reached into Nia’s pocket and took out the bell, shaking it. She sat for ten seconds, thirty seconds, two minutes. No one came.

Molley stood up and groaned. She was plumper than when she arrived, filling out the robe, even a little too much: the pistol was pressed uncomfortably into her belly. She reached in and pulled it out, sticking it in a pocket inside the left fold of the robe. She stepped away from the slumbering mountain behind her and stepped out into the hallway, colder and quieter than the room she left.

The house was foreign to Molley, so she wound inefficiently through the rooms, each one empty, the light still low and blue. After a minute she began to hear the sound of voices, and she follow them room to room, deeper into the house. Then, all at once, the voices turned to shouting, just for a few seconds, and she heard a dull whackand then silence.

Molley’s heart thudded with fear and fatigue and lingering sleep, but she had the presence of mind to take the pistol out of her robe. She unlocked the safety and kept the firearm at her side as she stepped forward, carefully, approaching a door with light shining through behind it. She crept up to it, and then her foot caught a knot in the floor and she stumbled forward, bursting into the room.

She was in the kitchens. Five servants stood in front of her, their eyes on fire, startled by her sudden appearance. Oce of them held a meat cleaver in her hand; another, a short, sinewy woman, a rolling pin. Another had red, raw lash marks on her forearms and a darkening bruise on her cheek. Gethin Quant lay face down on the floor, motionless, a growing bump on the top of his head, a short whip still gripped in his hand.

One of the servants, a mousy man, squealed and stumbled back. “The Goddess has sent her messenger to punish you for this, Bryn! Good Molley, spare us, please. Spare me! I never thought this was a good idea, I never--ow!” The sinewy woman, evidently Bryn, whacked the man’s arm, and he stopped talking but kept trembling.

“Quit it with that bullshit, Harri,” she said, and stared steely-eyed back at Molley as she spoke. “No one’s here to punish us. I can’t believe you still have faith in the false religious of our piggish masters. Molley’s not the messenger of a goddess. She’s just a hungry, lonely woman who killed her husband and got lucky when she found the Vale.”

Molley started at the mention of the murder.

Are you surprised, girl?” the woman smirked. “As soon as we knew about your husband--word gets around, even to us--we knew you killed him. I’m sure that hog Nia told you that we wouldn’t understand such things here in the Vale, that we don’t really have those problems. Fuck.

She doesn’t have those problems, but her hunger blinds her to the lives most of us lead. But you’re not blind. You, of all people, understand. Look at Alis.” She gestured at the bruised, whipped, fearful, defiant woman. “She’s like you. She couldn’t take it anymore. Gethin tried to whip her into obedience, but I beat him over the head with this rolling pin. Don’t worry,” she said, spotting Molley staring in horror at the man, “he’s not dead. He could be, if I wanted him to be, but he’s not.”

She took a step forward. “But you do understand. And if you want to convince us that a goddess sent you, you’ll help us, not these pigs. We can’t take it anymore. I can’t take it anymore. But if you made it here from your village, it means there’s another world out here. We’re not chained to the Vale. Help us leave. We’ll leave this place behind, we’ll leave your village behind. We’ll find a place where we can all live in peace, where we’re no one’s servants, where our only masters are ourselves. I know you want that.”

Molley, eyes wide, just looked back at Bryn. Her hunger flowed through her like her blood, energy and emptiness all at once. She thought about Mared and Nia, the women who had taken her in and fed her and made her safe again.

“Molley,” said Bryn, stepping forward, brandishing the rolling pin, “make up your mind. If you don’t help us, we’ll leave you with Gethin and go by ourselves. We don’t need you, but I think you need us. Think back to when you killed her husband. Remember the feeling that made you do that. You need to listen to it again. Do you hear it, Molley?”

She did remember. Once again, she saw her husband fall to the floor, his eyes wide and dying. She again felt the cold wooden handle of the pistol her trembling hands, her pulse beating into her bones, the adrenaline rising through her, the defiance, the unstoppable freedom, the certainty that anything was within her power, that no one could stop her.

“Molley, do you hear it?”

She looked through Bryn, past Bryn. “I hear it,” she said.

* * *

The rooms of the house were empty, quiet, the light turning from blue to pink as the sun rose and filled the house with light. The fireplaces were cold, the ovens spent. The empty platter still sat on the tables in Nia’s Private Dining.

Nia sat behind them, her overstuffed hands pressed together. She furrowed her brow, but she wasn’t desperate, wasn’t panicked. Always in control.

Gethin sat on a low chair he had pulled into the room, his head bandaged, moaning a little, watching Molley explain again to Nia what she had already explained to him. In her hand Molley still held the pistol, empty now. A platter sat on the table beside them, carrying a pitcher each of tea and honeycream that Gethin had prepared himself.

Nia nodded her head gently, firmly as she listened. “You did the right thing,” she said, “painful though it may have been. I can’t convey how sorry I am that I brought you to this danger, that something could have happened to you in my home.” She sighed and looked down into her belly.

“We’ll be sending the other four to the jail in town. Mared will deal with them personally soon, once she knows. Of course, we don’t have much of a kitchen staff now, which means our lunch has come to a premature end. We’ll have to hire more help soon.”

“But, listen.” Remarkably, she stood up of her own power and stepped toward Molley. Any normal person would still be a couple steps away, but her huge belly pushed into Molley’s own belly, still small and round by Nia’s standards but growing nonetheless. She placed her hands on Molley’s shoulders. “Now everyone is this land will know why you are here, what you are capable of. You truly are sent by our Mother to maintain the order of things. Who knows how the Vale could have unraveled if those scum had actually gotten away. We could have had a full-blown revolt on our hands, but you stopped it! Every servant and peasant and beggar in this land will understand that you wield a divine power, that you punish those who seek to undo the greatness and prosperity of our land. Our Mother Goddess has sent us aid before, but never anyone as powerful as you. You are our Salvation.”

She picked up the pitcher of honeycream and held it to Molley’s lips. “Please accept this offering to our Mother on her behalf. None is closer to Her than you, and you will be the Supreme Vessel by which we offer the gifts of our prosperous land to her.”

She poured the drink between Molley’s lips, and she let it flow down her throat. She didn’t think about the cool morning air or the small rebellion she’d stopped. She didn’t think about Gethin or Nia or Mared. The thought of her village, her husband, the pain and fear that had fueled her for so long, passed from her mind. All she knew was the feeling of the honeycream pouring into her, and she saw herself in the days and months and years ahead, accepting the bounty of the Vale into herself, filling, growing, her flesh expanding, her calves and thighs bursting her clothes, her belly piling into two folds, three folds, cascading down her body, filling her out wider and wider and merging with her billowing hips and buttocks, her breasts ballooning like those of the mother goddess, her neck and chins rounding out but her features still delicate, defined, heavenly. Her boundless hunger would command the wealth of the realm. No one could deny her the excess she could not do without. She was the Vale’s Salvation, a goddess’s representative on earth. She was entitled to everything, and she would take it.

Nia’s soft, fat hand cupped Molley’s cheek, for now just barely round, as she poured. “Your life with us is bright,” she said, and she smiled that intelligent smile.

Last edited by Benny Mon; 01-13-2018 at 03:34 PM. Reason: paragraph spacing
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